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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Luke 10

 

 

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Introduction

Luke 9:51 to Luke 18:14.—Lk. now more than atones for his great omission (of Mark 6:45 to Mark 8:26) by a great insertion. This section is mainly peculiar to Lk. It describes incidents of the last journey from Galilee to Jerusalem.


Verses 1-16

Luke 10:1-16. The Mission of the Seventy.—Cf. p. 665. Lk. has already described the Mission of the Twelve, following Mk.; here he covers the ground again, following Q. Matthew 10 had blended Mk. and Q, but Lk. keeps them separate by raising the number to 70 (cf. the 70 nations of the Gentile world, Genesis 10). Some good MSS. and Syr. Sin. read 72, i.e. 12 x 6; this may be more original. But even if Lk. only meant to describe a mission to the Jews, he has the wider enterprise at the back of his mind. Early Christian tradition (e.g. Clem. Alex.) numbered Barnabas, Matthias, Joseph Barsabbas, and Sosthenes among the Seventy,

Luke 10:2-6 : cf. Matthew 9:37 f; Matthew 10:16; Matthew 10:10-13.

Luke 10:7-12 : cf. Matthew 10:7 f., Matthew 10:10; Matthew 10:14 f., also Luke 9:4 f., Mark 6:10 f. The city succeeds the house, the public preaching the private.

Luke 10:8 is peculiar to Lk., and may reflect Pauline influence in abandoning Jewish food regulations. Cf. 1 Corinthians 10:27.

Luke 10:9. The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you: it remains with you whether this is all that can be said of it; the message of mercy may become a sentence of doom (Luke 10:10).

Luke 10:13-15. The denunciation of the three Galilean cities. Loisy thinks this typifies the general rejection of Israel. Cf. Matthew 11:21-23*.


Verses 17-20

Luke 10:17-20. Return of the Seventy.—With Luke 10:17; cf. Luke 9:10=Mark 6:30. The missioners report that the demons obey them in the name of Jesus. Jesus assents; He had watched Satan fall from heaven during their mission. Messiah's rule is in the ascendant. They are endowed with power to subdue the devil and all his agencies, yet their joy must rest rather upon the fact that they are citizens of the new kingdom.

Luke 10:19. If an authentic saying this is probably metaphorical. Cf. Mark 16:18, and for a literal illustration Acts 28:3-6.

Luke 10:20. written in heaven: cf. "book of life," Revelation 21:27. Also Isaiah 4:3, Daniel 12:1, Exodus 32:32.


Verses 21-24

Luke 10:21-24. Jesus and His Mission (Matthew 11:25-27*, Matthew 13:16 f.*).—The passage agrees very closely with Mt., but Lk. traces the joy and the utterance to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and his context for Luke 10:23 f. is better than Mt.'s. The great sight, denied to prophets and kings but vouchsafed to the disciples, is the Messiah's advent.


Verses 25-37

Luke 10:25-37. The Greatest Commandment (Mark 12:28-34*, Matthew 22:34-40*), and the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk. only).—The inquirer puts his question in a different form, but the meaning is the same. And in Lk. Jesus elicits the answer from the questioner, and commends him. Luke 10:29 is thought by some to be merely Lk.'s device, a peg on which to hang the parable, which existed in an independent form. For the parable answers the question "Whose neighbour am I? not "Who is my neighbour?" (cf. Luke 7:41-43*). But the question "Whose neighbour am I?" is after all the more important, and it would be like Jesus to turn the problem round so as to emphasise this. True, one would have expected a story showing how Jew should help Samaritan, not Samaritan a Jew, but neighbourliness is independent of nationality, and here the Samaritan puts the Jew to shame. "If we consider the parable apart from the context the moral is that people despised by the Jews may be much better than they and much nearer the Kingdom. The Samaritans, as such, are not put above the priests and Levites, but a charitable Samaritan is worth more than a priest without charity" (Loisy). Halévy thinks that in the original story the three men were priest, Levite, and Israelite, a frequent and familiar collocation. A Samaritan was not likely to be passing and repassing between Jericho and Jerusalem or to be friendly with the innkeeper. There would certainly be point in a simple layman doing what the clergy had failed to do. Perhaps for his Gentile readers, to whom priest and Levite were Israelites, Lk. has corrected (and exaggerated) the third term. But, as Montefiore (p. 936f.) says, "the Samaritan is in the parable now and the world will not easily let him go. And rightly. The parable is one of the simplest and noblest of all. Love, it tells us, must know no limits of race and ask no inquiry. Who needs me is my neighbour. Nowhere in OT is this doctrine so exquisitely and dramatically taught."

Luke 10:25. tempted: tested.—eternal life: cf. 1 John 1:2*.

Luke 10:30. going down: Jericho is nearly 4000 feet lower than Jerusalem; the distance is twenty miles, and the road is full of caves and gorges.

Luke 10:37. showed mercy: lit., "did mercy."


Verses 38-42

Luke 10:38-42. Martha and Mary (Lk. only).—Perhaps the connexion is that after charity comes faith. "The next duty after love of one's neighbour is that of listening to the Gospel." The contemplative life is the complement of the active. The village is not named; the Fourth Gospel says sisters of these names lived at Bethany. Martha is anxious to give her guest a fitting meal. He replies that she need not worry about a variety of dishes; few, or indeed one (cf. mg.), will suffice Him, and He whimsically adds that Mary has chosen the best dish "in selecting the nourishment of His teaching" (Moffatt; see his note on the text, and cf. RVm.). The whole incident is suggestively handled in Peake, Election and Service, p. 77ff. He thinks the "one thing" Jesus needed just then was a receptive hearer, one to whom He could open His heart in an hour when He sorely needed human sympathy. From this higher ministry Mary is not to be dragged away or disturbed.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Luke 10:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/luke-10.html. 1919.

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